[03/14/11 - 11:25 PM]
Development Update: Monday, March 14
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:

Looking to keep track of all the various projects in development? Click here to visit our signature "Devwatch" section. There visitors can view our listings by network, genre, studio and even development stage (ordered to pilot, cast-contingent, script, etc.). It's updated every day!

ALLEN GREGORY (FOX) - Will Forte ("Sit Down, Shut Up") has joined the voice cast of the upcoming animated comedy, about Allen Gregory (Jonah Hill), the world's most celebrated seven-year-old embarking on the greatest challenge of his life: attending elementary school with regular kids. French Stewart, Nat Faxon, Cristina Pucelli and Joy Osmanski are also featured in the ensemble. Hill, Andrew Mogel and Jarrad Paul are behind the project, which is set up at 20th Century Fox Television and the studio-based Chernin Entertainment.

THE BACHELOR (ABC) - The Alphabet has ordered a 16th edition of the veteran reality series, which wrapped its most recent cycle tonight. Said run, featuring the return of Brad Womack, has averaged a solid 10.2 million viewers for the network and will once again return in January of next year. Next Entertainment and Warner Horizon Television are the co-producers.

COOPER & STONE (The CW) - Vanessa Ferlito ("CSI: NY") has booked the latter title role in the drama pilot, about two pop culture savvy detectives - Jenna Cooper (Alexandra Breckenridge) and Angela Stone (Ferlito) - working in Chicago's Northside precinct. She'll play the aforementioned Stone, who with her "ponytail and Ann Taylor separates make a pointed attempt to downplay how pretty she actually is." Cooper conversely with "her expensive highlights and designer jeans, clearly works what she's got." Laurie Arent penned the CBS Television Studios-based hour, which also stars Riley Smith. John Dahl is directing.

GOOD CHRISTIAN BITCHES (ABC) - Emmy-winner Kristin Chenoweth ("Pushing Daisies") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about Amanda Vaughn (Leslie Bibb), a widowed mother of two who - to get a fresh start - moves back to the affluent Dallas neighborhood where she grew up. She's set as Darlene Cockburn ("beautiful, blonde, buxom"), a chruch-going housewife with a skewed sense of goodness and the alpha of the group. Annie Potts, Jennifer Aspen, Marisol Nichols and Miriam Shor also star. Alan Poul is directing the ABC Studios-based hour from a script by Robert Harling.

IDENTITY (ABC) - Bree Turner is the latest addition to the drama pilot, a procedural set at the Identity Crimes Division, the FBI's first cyber-crime unit mixed with traditional investigators. She's set as Tessa Stein ("lush, posh, Jewish, impeccably attired, sharp wit"), an atypical master tech geek. Also starring in the ABC Studios-based hour are Angela Bassett, Jay Paulson, Orlando Jones and Colin O'Donoghue. John Glenn penned the script, to be directed by Gary Fleder.

LIZZIE BORDEN (HBO, New!) - Chloe Sevigny ("Big Love") is set to star and produce a potential mini-series at the network about Lizzie Borden "who, in 1893, was acquitted of murdering her overbearing father and step-mother with a hatchet, but was publically condemned." Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman's Playtone are behind the four-hour project, to be penned by Bryce Kass. Hanks and Goetzman then will executive produce with Sevigny serving as a co-executive producer.

LOVELIVES (NBC) - Amanda Loncar ("The Loop") has scored the female lead on the comedy pilot, about a couple - Tim (Ryan Hansen) and Holly (Loncar) - and their challenges of love and fidelity. She'll play the aforementioned Holly. Also signing on is Sean Maguire as Blake, Tim's older brother, a Wall Street-type who's something of a bad influence on him. Chris Sheridan is behind the half-hour, which is set up at 20th Century Fox Television.

MY FRICKIN' FAMILY (ABC) - Cybill Shepherd ("Eastwick") has been cast in the comedy pilot, about Anna (Ellen Woglom) and Raj (Ravi Patel), a couple with a new baby and the culture clashes between its four very different grandparents. She'll play Nell, Raj's mother, who's fully embraced Indian culture while her husband Pradip (Harish Patel) conversely has immersed himself in American white-trash culture. Christopher Rich and Mo Gaffney also star as Anna's parents. Tristram Shapeero is directing the ABC Studios-based project, from creator Erica Rivinoja.

R.E.M. (NBC) - Wilmer Valderrama, Steve Harris, B.D. Wong, Laura Allen and Dylan Minnette have all booked roles on the drama pilot, about Mark Britten (Jason Isaacs), a police detective living in two different realities following a horrible car accident: one in which his son Rex lives, another in which his wife Hannah lives - each with their own partner and psychiatrist. Minnette will play said son ("tall, good looking"), a football player who takes up tennis - his late mother's sport of choice - following her death. Allen then will play Tara ("long, slender, like someone who not only plays a sport for a living, but does it well"), his coach, a trusted confidante. Meanwhile, Harris will play Isaiah "Bird" Freeman ("an air of having seen it all, twice"), Mark's partner in the Rex reality, while Valderrama, who has a talent holding deal with the studio, is set as Richard Vega ("gregarious, the type of person who talks to strangers in elevators"), Mark's partner in the Hannah reality. And finally, Wong will play Dr. Lee ("a cerebral presence"), Mark's psychiatrist in the Hannah reality. 20th Century Fox Television is behind the hour, from writer Kyle Killen and director David Slade.

REDS (HBO, New!) - Martyn Burke ("Pirates of Silicon Valley") is developing a period drama at the pay channel inspired by the true story of a colonel in the Soviet KGB who attempted to raise a family as an ordinary American citizen just outside New York City but was eventually caught. Burke himself crossed paths with the man in question in the 1980s when he worked as a sound man for one of Burke's documentary film crews. No other details or auspices were given about the project.

REVENGE (ABC) - Christa B. Allen has scored a role on the drama pilot, about Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp), a mysterious young woman who comes to the Hamptons to exact revenge on the people who destroyed her family. She's on board as Charlotte ("a fresh-faced coquette"), the daughter of Conrad Grayson, whom Emily blames for her foibles. Ashley Madekwe, Connor Paolo and Gabriel Mann also star in the ABC Studios-based hour, which Phillip Noyce is directing from a script by Mike Kelley.

THE RIVER (ABC) - Leslie Hope ("The Mentalist") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about a state-of-the-art research vessel on a quest to find Emmet Cole (Bruce Greenwood), a missing TV explorer, in the Amazon and the crew documenting said endeavor. She'll play Tess Cole, Emmet's thoughtful and determined wife ("smarter than he is, but hampered by practicality"). Eloise Mumford, Joe Anderson, Paul Blackthorne and Shaun Parkes also star in the hour, from ABC Studios, writer Michael Green and director Jaume Collet-Serra.

S.I.L.A. (NBC) - Noah Emmerich and Emma Dumont are the latest additions to Stephen Gaghan's pilot, a drama depicting a complex web of crime, policework and politics in Los Angeles. He'll play Terry Mullins, a detective who "has hit that point where it'll take a real effort to actually care again and he may not have it in him," with Dumont as his daughter Jennifer, "a bright sophomore with braces." Daniella Alonso, Danny Pino, Matthew Lev and Madchen Amick also star, the latter as Mary McCarthy, Jennifer's mother and Terry's ex-wife. 20th Century Fox Television is producing.

UNTITLED SUSANNAH GRANT PROJECT (CBS) - Julie Benz ("No Ordinary Family") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about Michael Halstead (Patrick Wilson), an ultra-competitive surgeon whose life is changed forever when his ex-wife, Anna Lindberg (Jennifer Ehle), dies and begins teaching him what life is all about from the hereafter. She'll play Didi ("huge heart, unfocused, overwhelmed"), Michael's sister with a troubled teenage son. Her casting is in second position to the ABC drama. Afton Williamson also stars while CBS Television Studios is producing. Jonathan Demme is directing from a script by Susannah Grant.

  [march 2011]  


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